Irish

Friday 25 July 2014

O2 is fourth busiest arena after grossing €32m

Gordon Deegan

Published 10/01/2013|05:00

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Robbie Williams was a big draw at the O2

ONE Direction and Robbie Williams helped Dublin's O2 gross more than €32m last year and jump one place to become the world's fourth best-attended music arena.

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The higher ranking came despite a 17pc drop in sales as the number of visitors fell 8pc to 620,555 last year.

Numbers going to the best-attended arena in the world, the O2 in London, fell 18pc to 1.57 million.

Figures from US-based industry journal ' Pollstar' put Dublin's O2 ahead of New York's Madison Square Garden and London's Wembley Arena.

The 14,500-capacity O2 is jointly owned by businessman Harry Crosbie and Los Angeles-based concert promoters Live Nation which counts U2, Madonna and the Rolling Stones among its acts.

Only the Manchester Arena, the Palacio de Los Deportes in Mexico the London O2 were ahead of the Dublin venue.

The detailed figures show that an English comedian, not an international pop act, was the biggest draw at the O2 last year.

Michael McIntyre entertained 35,438 fans over the course of four sold-out shows last November, with his gigs grossing €1.57m.

Another English comic, John Bishop, was one of the top-grossing acts last year, generating €1.35m after 97pc of tickets were sold for his four-night run.

The O2 staged 87 box office gigs last year compared to 82 in 2011.

The top grossing act at the venue last year was Cirque du Soleil, with ticket sales of €1.7m for seven shows.

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The most lucrative gigs were staged by 71-year-old Paul Simon, who grossed €1.65m for two concerts as part of his 25th Graceland anniversary tour last July.

The gross receipts for all concerts are shared between the promoter, artist and venue operator and do not include revenues from merchandise or food and alcohol sales.

The most lucrative single gig staged by an Irish artist was last January when Van Morrison grossed €684,518 from his sold-out single night.

One Direction grossed €275,216 for one gig last January, and the boy band that includes Niall Horan, from Co Westmeath, had four sold-out concerts in March.

The figures show that the Coronas' December gig grossed €457,602 after 94pc of tickets were sold, while Snow Patrol's two sold-out January gigs grossed €1m.

Other sell-out gigs included Robbie Williams who grossed €462,090 in September, and Florence and the Machine who grossed €1m from two gigs.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds also staged a sell-out gig in February, grossing €466,115.

Kanye West and Jay-Z grossed €1.38m for their joint gigs over two nights last June. Acts that disappointed in terms of crowds included Cheryl Cole whose October gig at the O2 was only 52pc full, while the arena reached only 47pc capacity for the Guns N' Roses gig in May.

Pop-rock singer Kelly Clarkson also disappointed, with only 51pc capacity when she played last October.

The most recent filed accounts for the venue show that it recorded pre-tax profits of €7.4m in 2011.

The main promoters behind the concerts last year were MCD Productions and Aiken Promotions.

The former Point Theatre closed in August 2007 to allow renovations to be carried out, and reopened as the €80m 02 the following December.

O2 management yesterday declined to comment on the 'Pollstar' figures.

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